Fall is finally upon us! For some, that means bring on the pumpkin spice lattes and cardigans. For others, it means a slow, sad goodbye to the last rays of summer. Whatever camp you’re in, we hope you can enjoy–or at least be consoled by–the advent of comfort food season. Yes, that’s right! With the gradual decline in temperature from now through February comes the joys of filling our bellies with a warm bowl of hearty chili, your mom’s famous chicken pot pie, or a roast you’ve been crock-potting all day. But wait! Fresh fruits and veggies are still popping up out of the not-yet-frozen soil and falling off still-green trees! And with that, we have the best of both worlds. We would argue it’s fall’s favorite fruit: the apple.
And if you, like us, are a fan of the apple…well you’ve come to the right place. Both figuratively and literally. If you’re in Washington (as we suspect you are), you’re in the top apple-producing state in America. I don’t know if you know this, but we’re kind of a big deal. In fact, 58% of America’s apples are grown right here in your own backyard. You read it right. That’s more than half. With all these apples growing great in your own state, there’s no reason to ever eat an apple from elsewhere. Lucky for you, Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce have the skinny on all the best locally grown apples and a few suggestions on how to have them.
First, let’s talk types. If you hear “Granny Smith”, “Jazz”, and “Lady Alice” and assume we’re talking about your neighbor’s Tuesday morning bridge club, you’re not alone. But alas, they’re actually the names of a few of the 7,500 varieties of apple in the world. It’s a lot of information to sift through. So here’s a quick guide to some of the varieties you’ll see on our shelves.
Our Favorite Fruit in Many Forms
You’ll know it’s a Honeycrisp as soon as you bite into it. Crisp and juicy, we love Honeycrisp for its distinctly sweet-but-not-too-sweet flavor. Perfect to eat all by itself or chopped up on a salad. Swing by Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce this week and get a great deal on a 20lb bag! With an apple so versatile, you’ll be glad you did!
Graventstein is one of the oldest varieties of apples. It harkens from Europe, although the specifics are unclear. This variety is known for its exquisite flavor. It’s one of our favorite fruit because it makes great applesauce and desserts. Gravenstein is considered a high quality apple variety and has been celebrated in festivals and fairs all its own.
These hail originally from Japan (named after Mt. Fuji). Their fantastic crisp and sweet flavor have made them a favorite go-to snack for years. You’ll recognize them by their mostly red coloring with just a touch of yellow and/or green.
This mild little cutie is a delightful yellow-to-green color with freckles for good measure. Just a little bit sweet and not too tart, it’s easy on the taste buds and doesn’t like to make waves. Great for snacking! Or mix them with apples that have a little more tartness and bake into a pie.
A Few Ways to “Fall” in Love with Apples
Apple Walnut Salad
Start with a spring mix, preferably one with spinach and arugula. Then, add cranberries, walnuts, and chopped apples (honeycrisp is a great choice for this salad). Finally, toss in the dressing of your choice. We recommend Brianna’s Homestyle Blush Wine Vinaigrette from our dressing aisle. Serve as a side salad with pork chops, or add chopped chicken to it to make an entree salad!
Ooey Gooey Caramel Apples
Is it really fall if you don’t sink your teeth and get them stuck in the stickiest, messiest treat around? You may think of it as “hard to eat,” but we think of it as a rite of passage. This recipe from Just a Taste calls for Granny Smith apples and strikes the right balance of easy and fun. Swing by our candy aisle for topping ideas (Hint: Seattle Chocolate’s “Mexican Hot Chocolate” bar, chopped into tiny pieces so it sticks). Go ahead, take a bite out of fall.
Classic Apple Pie
Are you so excited to spend hours peeling, coring, and chopping apples? More power to you! But for the rest of us who love America’s favorite dessert but aren’t down for the prep time, Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce has just the thing. Swing by our freezer aisle, and pick up a bag of frozen Granny Smith Apples from Remington Farms. Grown right here in Washington and frozen at peak ripeness, these delicious apples are already skinless, seedless, cut and waiting to be thrown in a pie. Nobody will guess you didn’t do it yourself and we won’t tell! Try this recipe from Taste of Home and wow your friends and family with your domestic prowess.
One Tree Cinnamon Caramel Hard Cider
Ok, so it’s a bit of a jaunt from the produce aisle. But One Tree cidery uses Washington apples to produce a cider that’s absolutely perfect for fall. Seriously, it’s like apple pie in a bottle. Looking for more fall flavors? While you’re perusing our cider aisle, check out Whitewood’s “Gravenstein” Cider and 2 Towns Ciderhouse’s “Easy Squeezy.”
Find All Your Favorite Fruit at Tacoma Boys!
If you’re a local looking for Washington’s favorite fruit done right, look no further than Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce. We’re lovers of all things local, especially our local farmers and apple producers. So swing by today and buy the best apples Washington has to offer.